The Book of Souls: individual album judgement by yours truly

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
That's the reaction I wanted:D. Obviously TBOS is very good album too. Probably my 7-8th favorite
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
If Eternity Should Fail - 9 >
Speed of Light - 7 >
The Great Unknown - 7 >
The Red and the Black - 9 >
When the River Runs Deep - 6 >
The Book of Souls - 10 >
Death or Glory - 10 >
Shadows of the Valley - 6 >
Tears of a Clown - 10 >
The Man of Sorrows - 6 >
Empire of the Clouds - 10 >

Average Score: 8.18/10
Actual Score: 9.8/10

Like some of Maiden's other albums, The Book of Souls is somehow better than the sum of its parts. The individual songs may differ in quality, but on the album they work very, very well. It's a fresh 'new' release with everyone giving a stellar performance and there are only two other albums I prefer over it. Plus it's got EOTC on it, so it gets a shitload of bonus points just for that. :ok:
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
87/365

The Book Of Souls - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

If Eternity Should Fail - A haunting intro leads into an amazing opening track, and a fantastic track in general. Bruce sounds older on this track than in the 80s heyday but he isn't any less effective in his delivery. Overall this is an amazing Maiden track which is easily a modern classic. - 10/10

Speed Of Light - A fast paced track Bruce delivers once again. Strong soloing. - 9/10

The Great Unknown - A bass intro quickly is accompanied by some nice guitar and percussion work. Bruce comes in the song stays calm thus far but is definitely building in the background. Staying slower it gets heavier and Bruce continues to sing getting more dynamic. Overall this track is fairly strong. Nice chorus and the guitar solos are well done. - 8.5/10

The Red And The Black - A Bass intro leads into the longest track on the first "album" of the Book of Souls. This track took a while to grow on me but ultimately I now appreciate it as the masterpiece it is. Amazing guitar harmonies. Bruce delivers once again. Absolutely amazing - 10/10

When The River Runs Deep - The next track gets straight to business, Bruce sounds super strong off the start although the band and him distort each other slightly fast paced and to the point. Nice soloing. Overall a really strong track - 8.5/10

The Book Of Souls - A calmer intro leads into the final track of the first disc and the end of side 1 of the 2nd vinyl. This track is a really strong track, full of amazing solos and Bruce is absolutely unreal here. Another amazing epic from the band - 10/10
Disc 1 Score: 93%

Death Or Glory - A fast paced rocker kicks off the second "album", a real shorter fast track. - 9.5/10

Shadows Of The Valley - An very Wasted Years reminiscent riff opens up the song, I really like this riff. Not quite as strong as the rest thus far but still a good song. - 8/10

Tears Of A Clown - A relatively fast start to this tribute to Robin Williams, Bruce sings this track wonderfully, overall not an amazing track but a nice tribute - 8.5/10

The Man Of Sorrows - A slower track, this track this one isn't super strong but it is solid overall. - 8/10

Empire Of The Clouds - Diesel 11 while I do not have the love that you do for this track, I do feel it is an unbelievably amazing piece of music. Absolutely phenomenal orchestration by Bruce and the band is completely on fire. - 10/10

Disc 2 Score: 88%

Overall 91%
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
If Eternity Should Fail 9/10
Speed of Light 9/10
The Great Unknown 9/10
The Red And The Black 10/10
When The River Runs Deep 7/10
The Book Of Souls 9/10
Death Or Glory 10/10
Shadows Of The Valley 8/10
Tears Of A Clown 9/10
The Man Of Sorrows 6/10
Empire Of The Clouds 10/10

Average song rating 8.7
Overall rating 86%
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
1. If Eternity should fail 9,5
2. Speed of Light 9,5
3. The Great Unknown 6,5
4. The Red and the Black 9,5
5. When the river runs deep 6,5
6. The Book of Souls 9,5
7. Death or Glory 8
8. Shadows of the Valley 6
9. Tears of the Clown 9,5
10. The man of sorrows 8,5
11. Empire of the Clouds 7,5

8,2

BRILLIANT
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
  1. If Eternity Should Fail - 8.25/10
  2. Speed of Light - 7/10
  3. The Great Unknown - 8.5/10
  4. The Red And The Black - 8.75/10
  5. When The River Runs Deep - 8.25/10
  6. The Book Of Souls - 9.5/10
  7. Death Or Glory - 8/10
  8. Shadows Of The Valley - 6/10
  9. Tears Of A Clown - 7.75/10
  10. The Man Of Sorrows - 6.25/10
  11. Empire Of The Clouds - 7.75/10
Average: 7,82/10
 
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I'm listening to the album right now, and even if it's almost 4 years since it's release, it still blows my mind who amazing it is. This is Maiden at it's finest, Maiden in it's purest form. I often see people complaining on this album for it's length, cheesness and repetition of some parts. They can't be more wrong. It doesn't become more Maiden than The Book Of Souls, it just sums up everything Maiden is about. Long epics combined with shorter, fast tracks, melodies all over the place and a lot of advanced elements.

1. If Eternity Should Fail: One word. Epic. The synth intro sets the bar for the rest of the song, and when it kicks off the band fires on all cylinders. It's heavy as balls, Bruce vocals are insane and the chorus is among the best Maiden has ever written. My only complaint is that the song doesn't have a proper solo and that the spoken outro is kind of misplaced. That's only filler for me. 9.5/10

2. Speed Of Light: A short-paced rocker in classic Maiden style that continues to grow on me. The riffs are superb and the groove is absolutely amazing. The melodies that follows the solos is so much Maiden that it hurts. Bruce vocals is living on it's edge though. You can clearly hear he is strugglining with the high notes. It's on the edge of being annoying, but it still works. 8/10

3. The Great Unknown: An odd track. The intro is cool and I absolutely love the groove in the verse. Absolute insanity You just can't prevent yourself from headbanging. Bruce struggles a little bit, but here it works very good. I still think this song could have been even better. The song ends to abrubtly, it feels like it ends before it's even started. They should have made another verse and shortened the outro. Then the song would have been even better. It's still good though. 7.5/10

4. The Red And The Black: Now we're talking serious stuff. This is to me Maidens best song of all time. It is "the" Iron Maiden song. Everything Maiden stands for you find in The Red And The Black. Gallops, melody extravaganza, epic choruses and sing-a-long parts. I can listen to this song 100 times and never get tired of it. The chorus is absolutely marvellous, the melodic second half stands out as one of Maidens best moments of all time, and the melody in the verse is absolutely amazing as well. I've nothing to complain about here. Pure perfection and Maidens strongest achievment of all time IMO. 10/10

5. When The River Runs Deep: A shorter faced-paced rocker that, even thought it has some really great stuff in it, just ends as OK. I absolutely love the chorus, that just stinks Maiden. The rest of the stuff is good as well, although nothing special by Maiden standards. Not a bad track, but nothing special as a whole. Probably the weakest track on the album. 7/10

6. The Book Of Souls: Now we're talking again. This track is absolutely mindblowing. I know Maiden are a heavy metal band, but it still blows my mind away how to sound THIS heavy. The verses and the bridges is absolute killer and Bruce is singing as if his life would be hanging on it. The second half steals the show though. That is Maiden at it's finest. Everything Maiden stands for is there. Epic riffs and melodies, EPIC solos and insane vocals. That part is just insanity It takes a already amazing song up to heaven. 10/10

7. Death Or Glory: This short-paced rocker divides me. The groove is very good and the verses is amazing. I'm not really a big fan of the chrous though. It sounds kind of cheesy and is quite weak compared with other Maiden tracks. I still like the song though, even though it's quite weak compared with the rest of the album. 7.5/10

8. Shadows Of The Valley: I fucking love this track. I don't know what it is, everything is just so cool. The riffs are very good and Bruce is singing very good. The riff that follows the second verse around 3.30 is so cool and so underrated, and the part that says "Into the valley of death..." just touches my soul every time. So fucking good! An underrated Maiden track and a perfect mini-epic. 9/10

9. Tears Of A Clown: The Robin Williams tribute is not my favorite. It's good, it's just feels kind of flat and doesn't really tuch me as it should, at least not musically. The lyrics is absolutely amazing though. It really raises the song, sends shivers down my spine and makes the song a whorthy tribute to Williams. Even though it's not my favorite track, I'm very glad they wrote it. It really fills a role in the Maiden cataloge. 7/10

10. The Man Of Sorrows: This song is also kind of a mixed bag. Some of the ideas are absolutely mindblowing, e.g. the chorus and the solos and melodies in the middle That's just Maiden porn. But there are some stuff that could have been cut off. The progressive elements in the middle and the ending sounds very forced and random and doesn't really fit the song. I don't like those parts at all, and that lowers the grade a bit. 7/10

11. Empire Of The Clouds: Even though I haven't been that blown away by the song as much as many others have, I definitely can't deny the epicness and art that it delivers. This is from an objective standpoint Maidens Magnum Opus. 18 minutes of heavy metal art. Not only does this songs expresses the musical abilities of the boys, it also expresses their maturity and the more intellectual musical perspective they have taken in the 21st century. This song really shows which genius band Maiden are. I'm not gonna point out any special parts here, the song is just so perfect and well-composed that it's not needed. The reason why I haven't been blown away by it is probably due to the length. While there's nothing wrong with 18 minutes, the song doesn't take advantage of it's length in the same way as The Red And The Black and The Book Of Souls does for me. Some parts are maybe too long and could have shortened down a little. That's just trifels though. The song still stands insanly strong and I can fully understand the praise it gets. 10/10

As a whole, I give this album 9.2/10. For me, the strength of the album lies in the ALBUM and not necessarily the songs alone. There are some tracks that are just OK, but that's not really a big problem. The album is just so well-composed and skillfully put together that it doesn't matter that all songs delivers strong. Still there are some absolute monsters on it. Songs like The Red And The Black, Empire Of The Clouds and The Book Of Souls is just another level of genius and epicness, monsters that outperforms many of the epic songs Maiden has released the past. It's those songs that really raises the grade. Is it Maidens best album`of all time? No, but it's among them. It's an amazing albums that easily beats many of their classic albums from the 80s. Probably ranking it at nr 4 behind BNW, SIT and SSOTSS.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Now That I completed evaluating all Maiden songs by album ...
  1. Somewhere In Time
  2. Powerslave
  3. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
  4. Piece Of Mind
  5. A Matter Of Life And Death
  6. Killers
  7. The X Factor
  8. Dance Of Death
  9. Iron Maiden
  10. The Number Of The Beast
  11. The Final Frontier
  12. The Book Of Souls
  13. No Prayer For The Dying
  14. Brave New World
  15. Virtual XI
  16. Fear Of The Dark

... but if the sole ranking criteria were to be the mathematical average points of the songs things would be this way:

  1. Somewhere In Time - 9.25 (=)
  2. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 9.09 (+1)
  3. Powerslave 9 (-1)
  4. A Matter Of Life And Death - 8.85 (+1)
  5. The X Factor - 8.4 (+2)
  6. Killers - 8.32 (=)
  7. Iron Maiden - 8.27 (+2)
  8. Piece Of Mind - 8.16 (-4)
  9. The Number Of The Beast 8.05 (+1)
  10. The Final Frontier - 8.04 (+1)
  11. The Book Of Souls - 7.82 (+1)
  12. Dance Of Death - 7.81 (-4)
  13. No Prayer For The Dying - 7.62 (=)
  14. Brave New World - 7.6 (=)
  15. Virtual XI - 6.68 (=)
  16. Fear Of The Dark - 5.83 (=)
Two main observations/ conclusions:

a) Piece Of Mind and Dance Of Death are strongly penalized because both albums feature one stinker (QFF and AOI respectively) and kind of a filler (SAS and NF) while other in other albums (mainly The X Factor and Iron Maiden) song value variation is way more constant.

b) Regarding this one can easily conclude that an album is far more than a collection of songs.
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Here's my album rank:
  1. Somewhere In Time
  2. Powerslave
  3. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
  4. Piece Of Mind
  5. A Matter Of Life And Death
  6. Killers
  7. The X Factor
  8. Dance Of Death
  9. Iron Maiden
  10. The Number Of The Beast
  11. The Final Frontier
  12. The Book Of Souls
  13. No Prayer For The Dying
  14. Brave New World
  15. Virtual XI
  16. Fear Of The Dark

... but if the sole ranking criteria were to be the mathematical average points of the songs things would be this way:

  1. Somewhere In Time - 9.25 (=)
  2. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 9.09 (+1)
  3. Powerslave 9 (-1)
  4. A Matter Of Life And Death - 8.85 (+1)
  5. The X Factor - 8.4 (+2)
  6. Killers - 8.32 (=)
  7. Iron Maiden - 8.27 (+2)
  8. Piece Of Mind - 8.16 (-4)
  9. The Number Of The Beast 8.05 (+1)
  10. The Final Frontier - 8.04 (+1)
  11. The Book Of Souls - 7.82 (+1)
  12. Dance Of Death - 7.81 (-3)
  13. No Prayer For The Dying - 7.62 (=)
  14. Brave New World - 7.6 (=)
  15. Virtual XI - 6.68 (=)
  16. Fear Of The Dark - 5.83 (=)
Two main observations/ conclusions:

a) Piece Of Mind and Dance Of Death are strongly penalized because both albums feature one stinker (QFF and AOI respectively) and kind of a filler (SAS and NF) while other in other albums (mainly The X Factor and Iron Maiden) song value variation is way more constant.

b) Regarding this one can easily conclude that an album is far more than a collection of songs.
Kinda the wrong thread, yknow buddy.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Do we even have an album ranking thread here?
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Thanks, I forgot about that.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
THE BOOK OF SOULS (2015)

DISC ONE:

1. If Eternity Should Fail - 10/10
Following on from Satellite 15..., this is another unorthodox Maiden opener, a song not far removed from Bruce’s solo career (for obvious reasons), with a lot of punch to it. Lyrics dealing with mankind’s ideas of gods of salvation make it the perfect way to start off a record dealing in life, death, and souls.

2. Speed Of Light - 10/10
And now kicking it up a notch is an killer rocker with more energy than would be expected from men pushing 60, but goddamn they’ve still got it. What a whirlwind of a track.

3. The Great Unknown - 10/10
An apocalyptic sort of song dealing with the blights of mankind, this one is a gloomy track but fits right in on the album. Some dark stuff for sure.

4. The Red And The Black - 10/10
This is the love child of Rime and TAATG. The third longest song released by the band, it’s a pure celebration of the epic song form, with a lengthy instrumental section that is one of the many highlights from the record.

5. When The River Runs Deep - 9/10
Another rocker, this one never fails to remind me of Dorothy Sayers’s The Nine Tailors, which makes it a special song for me. That said, it is a bit weaker than the rest of Disc 1 but it doesn’t diminish the album any.

6. The Book Of Souls - 10/10
And closing out the first half is this behemoth, a tribute to the Mayan empire with an exploration of history and how it changes with time. It’s a monster of a song, starting out with a slow trudge before kicking into third gear in the second half. Awesome.

Rating: 98%

DISC TWO:

1. Death Or Glory - 10/10
Sabaton’s new song about Manfred Richthofen is fine and dandy, but it can’t hold a candle to this monster of a rocker. Using the Red Baron’s own words to paint the picture of a dogfight, it’s a phenomenal song through and through.

2. Shadows Of The Valley - 9/10
Another one of the weaker songs here, but that doesn’t say much because most of this album is awesome. The opening riff is Janick’s attempt at Wasted Years, and it’s a nice little throwback. The chorus and the bridge are awesome, and the rest of the song is solid throughout.

3. Tears Of A Clown - 10/10
One of Steve’s best escapades as far as lyrics go. This tribute to Robin Williams sounds far more personal than you’d expect, and Adrian’s slowly is one of the best on the album.

4. The Man Of Sorrows - 8/10
The weakest song on TBOS, it’s still a solid affair - I like the atmosphere in particular - but has weaker lyrics and Bruce doesn’t quite sell them. But it still fits in with the grander theme, so that’s a plus.

5. Empire Of The Clouds - ∞/10
The greatest song ever written. That is all.

Rating: 94%

The Book Of Souls is a monster album. Each song fits in, and even the weaker ones are key ingredients to the overall product. In fact, this is the only album in this listen that I like more than the average rating would suggest. If Maiden can get half as close to this with their next album then up the fucking irons.

Rating: 96
+1 for how well it works together
+1 for how good they still sound in 2015
+1 for Empire Of The Motherfucking Clouds

= 99%
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
IMO they're both #1 :D . Now seriously I really don't understand how any Dickinson era Maiden fan doesn't rank these two tracks at least at their top 10.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
IMO they're both #1 :D . Now seriously I really don't understand how any Dickinson era Maiden fan doesn't rank these two tracks at least at their top 10.
Lol, neither of them make it to my top 10. Aces High ranks probably somewhere between 15-20 and Rime, well... I have no idea where it ranks.
 
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